Jon Jones narrowly escaped UFC 235 with his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight title on March 2, 2019, after clipping Anthony Smith with an illegal knee, which ultimately cost “Bones” two points.
Had Smith been unable to continue, “Lionheart” would’ve gotten the disqualification victory, the 205-pound belt, win bonus and a big-money rematch against Jones sooner, rather than later. Afterward, many — Jones included — praised Smith for not taking the disqualification win and opting to continue the fight. Smith, however, doesn’t need a pat on the back for not taking the coward’s way out.
“That’s the part that pisses me off. This world is so crazy. I don’t need a pat on the back for doing the right thing. It’s like when you see people saying, ‘Oh my God, look at how good of a dad he is.’ You are supposed to be involved in your children’s life. You’re supposed to take care of your kids, you're supposed to love your wife,” Smith said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
“You’re supposed to do all those things and you’re supposed to do the right things when it comes down to not taking the coward’s way out. I don’t need a pat on the back for that and that’s why I haven't talked about it,” he added. “I just think I did the right thing. There was never an opportunity for me to make a choice to not continue. Honest to God, the only thing I asked the referee was how much time was on the clock. That’s all I cared about. That’s all I needed to know and he wouldn’t even tell me that. It was never an option,” Smith said.
According to “Lionheart,” he’s more mad at himself for putting himself in the position to get clipped by the knee more than anything else.
“I was more pissed off that I took the knee because I was stuck on the bottom for like two or three minutes trying to get up not to take a knee, and I took it anyways,” he said. “So I was kind of chewing my own ass, ‘That’s what you get for being a pussy. You should’ve just stood up and taken the knee if it came and then got back to your feet.’ It’s like I almost punished myself, ‘That's what you get for hanging out and trying to be slick,’ you know?”
Smith will get the chance to get back in the winner’s circle pretty soon, as he has been booked to face Alexander Gustafsson at the upcoming UFC Stockholm event on June 1, 2019, in Sweden.
While Smith is content with living up to his word of never turning down a fight, he isn’t too thrilled with the quick turnaround. Indeed, he initially wanted to take the remainder of the year off, not hop back into another training camp and be away from his family.
Having the chance to face “The Mauler,” however, was simply an opportunity “Lionheart” couldn’t pass up. And even though he admits he is “still in his feelings” because of the loss to Jones, he will move past it and shift all of his attention to Gustafsson.